Also: Causing false alarm and interfering with law enforcement
Late last year, Kansas resident Andrew Finch was killed by Wichita police when a frivolous 911 call was made stating that there was a hostage situation at the address of Finch’s mother. Broadly, this act is known as “swatting” — a reprehensible way of seeking online revenge by getting a SWAT team sent to someone’s house.
This particular incident reportedly stemmed from a dispute over a low-stakes Call of Duty match, and Finch’s mother’s residence seems to be a random nearby address to one of the parties involved in the game. Here’s a comprehensive write-up that details exactly how a tragedy like this could unfold.
In the days following Finch’s murder, Los Angeles resident Tyler Rai Barriss was arrested and extradited to Kansas in connection with the crime. Bariss is the one who allegedly made the phone call to the Wichita police. As the LA Times reports, Bariss was charged in Sedgewick County court today for involuntary manslaughter, causing false alarm, and interfering with law enforcement. His bail was set at $500,000.
The involuntary manslaughter is the most severe of the charges listed. Involuntary manslaughter is generally defined as a killing that’s unlawful but also unintentional. According to the Kansas Statutes Annotated (Kansas’ laws enacted by its state legislature), involuntary manslaughter is listed as a felony severity level 5. Kansas prosecutes non-drug felonies based on this grid; it appears as though Bariss, if found guilty, would face a maximum of 55 months in prison on that one charge with the possibility for parole after three years.